English   Danish

2022/2023  BA-BISHV1003U  Strategic Management in the Shipping Industry

English Title
Strategic Management in the Shipping Industry

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course First Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc in International Shipping and Trade
Course coordinator
  • Johannes Luger - Department of Strategy and Innovation (SI)
Main academic disciplines
  • Management
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 11-02-2022

Relevant links

Learning objectives
At the end of the course, the students must be able to:
  • Describe, classify, structure and combine the concepts, theories, methods of strategic leadership including management and development of the resources of the shipping organization
  • Identify and develop relevant strategic position of an organization
  • Define and analyze specific problems in the shipping industry by using the theoretic concepts, theories, methods and models
  • Assess and communicate the solution of problems and thus be able to focus on decision making and the use of strategic tools in situations with conflicting objectives
Strategic Management in the Shipping Industry:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Case based assignment
Duration 48 hours to prepare
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Autumn
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

This course yields an in-depth understanding of strategy and the strategy development process with a special emphasis on the competitive dynamics of the global shipping industry. Today’s global economy depends fundamentally on shipping with more than 80% of the world goods being transported by ship. The changes in global trade over the last decades have triggered structural changes in the shipping industry and require executives to face an increasingly instable business environment. In this rapidly changing context, shipping companies need to formulate and implement new strategies to secure revenue, margin and growth.

The course explores executives’ choices as they formulate, implement, test and adapt a strategy to compete in domestic and foreign markets. The course introduces analytical frameworks and strategic tools to design and execute a coherent strategy, and structure an organization with the processes, systems, and best practices to support its success. Concepts such as competitive advantage, internationalization, diversification, and mergers and acquisitions will be explored to understand how managers lead innovation inside and outside of the boundaries of organizations.

The curriculum is organized in two modules covering (i) the analysis of a firm including its positioning in the market and, subsequently, (ii) strategic actions available to the firm. Module 1  provides insights on how to analyze the external environment of organizations, including macroeconomic changes, industry and competitor analysis. This module also includes the analysis of organizations’ internal resources and their role for strategic positioning. Module 2 focuses on strategic actions such as diversification, internationalization, mergers and acquisitions, and innovation.

Each session combines theoretical readings with case study discussions and encourages students to understand and apply abstract frameworks but also discuss their limitations. Through in-depth analysis of both successful and failed strategies, students explore how executives were able to recognize opportunities for innovations and translate them into strategy. The curriculum provides tools to formulate corporate action plans for sustainable competitive advantage and discusses their merits, risks and limitations.

Description of the teaching methods
Teaching methods include case study analysis, group discussions and lectures. Students are expected to prepare readings and cases prior to each session and actively participate in class.

There will also be blended learning with e-sessions
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback will be given in class in group work based on group discussions and presentation
Student workload
lecture 36 hours
preparation 164 hours
exam 48 hours
Expected literature

Suggested literature

  • Harvard Business School cases (coursepack to be downloaded from Harvard Business School Publishing prior to first session; detailed instructions will be provided through CBS Learn)
  • Harlaftis, G., et al. (2012). The World's Key Industry: History and Economics of International Shipping. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire; New York, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Hitt, M. A., et al. (2015). Strategic Management: Competitiveness & Globalization: Concepts and Cases. Mason, Ohio, South-Western Cengage Learning.
  • Johnson et al. (2017). Exploring Strategy. Text and Cases (11th Edition). Edinburgh Gate; UK, Pearson.

Lorange, P. (2009). Shipping Strategy: Innovating for Success. Cambridge; New York, Cambridge University Press.

Last updated on 11-02-2022